Amazing Vacations for the Whole FamilyApril 7, 2015
If you instill a love of travel in your kids while they’re young, they’re likely to carry that with them throughout their whole life—but if not, it can be a difficult love to pick up later in life. And studies have shown that people who travel are often better at problem-solving, more outgoing, and other things that you likely want your children to be. So get them travelling.
Easier said than done, you might think. Picking a vacation spot that’s pleasing to the whole family can be difficult, especially if everyone has different interests. Here are some of our favorite ideas:
The History Hunter: UNESCO Heritage Sites
Too many people don’t explore enough near their homes. Oftentimes whenever we get a chance to go on vacation, we’re looking to go as far away from home as we can. But sticking close to home can have a lot of benefits: not only do you maximize your time vacationing by minimizing your travel time, but you often won’t spend as much by staying closer to home.
Sound like a boring idea? Bring up a list of UNESCO Heritage Sites in your area and check how many of them you’ve been to. Are there huge gaps in the places you or your kids have seen? Check out those places on your next vacation! This idea works well with foreign countries too—pick a place and find out what sites you should see while you’re there. From castles to temples to wilderness sites, you’re guaranteed to find something that your whole family can get interested in.
The Nature Nomad: National Parks
Nothing says summer quite like getting out into nature, and each country has plenty of unique national and regional parks. There’s more to do in a national park than just go hiking, though! Depending on where you go, you might be able to hang out on a beach, go fishing, go rafting or boating, do some reading, visit with your family, or otherwise just enjoy the scenery.
Try to pick a park where you can have a campfire or barbecue and you’ll be able to promise the kids some toasted marshmallows for desert if you encounter any moodiness or difficulties. A little arm-twisting might help you keep the peace and smooth out your vacation—who said bribes were a bad idea?
The City Sojourner: Endless Options
Of course, there’s no end of cities in the world, and if you’re looking to visit just one or a couple during your trip, you may feel at a loss for how to choose. Here are some ideas: 1) You could just decide to go to whichever city is cheapest to travel to. 2) You could throw a dart at the map. 3) You could look at travel websites, which often offer their views on the best places to visit for that season or year. 4) You could work your way down your travel bucketlist, or 5) You could look to your friends, family, books, or movies for recommendations.
The thing is, if you’re planning to take a trip to a city, you’re guaranteed to find activities to suit the whole family—whether it’s museums for the adults, aquariums for the kids, or any of a slew of places in between. Don’t stress too much; pick whatever is easiest for you and go with it. It’s what you do on the vacation that will determine how much fun you all have, and that’s not wholly dependent on the city!
The Winter Wanderer: Christmas Markets
Even if you’re not religious, travelling around Europe can be extremely special in the wintertime. Not only are there tons of fun outdoor activities like skiing and skating, you’ll also be able to find Christmas markets dotting town and city squares across the continent. At these markets—especially in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, which tend to do enormous markets with a seemingly endless number of stalls—you’ll find traditional crafts, foods, drinks, music, and more.
Each market tends to offer a slightly different take on the local customs, so you could take a tour around just visiting as many markets as possible. Some of the best markets to check out are Nuremberg, Germany; Vienna, Austria; or Prague, Czech Republic—but you really can’t go wrong with any of them!
The Enthusiastic Explorer: Road Trip
Any country can be turned into a suitable place for a road trip. Of course, it all depends on how much time you have—if you’ve only got a couple days, you obviously don’t want to spend them cooped up in a car! But if you’ve got a little time on your hands, head out on the open road.
Don’t worry so much about the kids—pack some snacks and some surprise activity boxes with puzzles, books, mini board games, comics, or whatever else might interest them when the scenery starts to get a bit dull. Throwing a couple movies on your tablet or laptop can go a long way as well—just make sure you’ve got a good VPN installed before you start downloading any torrents! A road trip gives you the perfect chance to see a lot of a country, have picnics, spend some time with your family, and make memories to last a lifetime.
Whatever you choose to do with your family, the key is to get your kids excited about the idea. Get them involved in planning the trip—give them some guidebooks or help them find information on the internet so they can figure out what things would be most interesting to them. Break up your trip with many different types of activities rather than only visiting museums and your kids are sure to have an excellent time travelling and expanding their horizons.